Paterson Public School District HiLites

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District Strategic Plan in Action

Thursday, May 21, 2015

  • PANTHER goes to MIT

  • Interactive training production

  • Annual Teen Health Fair

Effective Academic Programs

MIT tripTechnical ecstasy - Thirty-eight students from the Academy of Earth and Space Science (PANTHER) who presented research seminars to their peers this past October participated in an exciting and intellectually engaging field trip to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).  The PANTHER students were joined by two students from the School of Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) at the John F. Kennedy Educational Complex.  Students visited the Polarimetry Laboratory where they observed the development of a deep space camera that utilizes x-ray technology to capture high-resolution images. While there, they received a lecture on the science behind the camera and satellite that carries it. Next, the Wind Tunnel and Aerodynamic Engineering Laboratory opened its doors, and the group learned how and why students and engineers test aircraft designs.  At the wind tunnel, they got to observe and discuss a freshman aero design competition with the students participating in it. Lastly, the students visited the MIT dormitories and cafeteria where they engaged in conversations about student life at the university.


Law DayAll rise! - Students from the School of Government and Public Administration at Eastside participated in Passaic County’s annual Law Day Mock Trial Competition on May 1.  Students from Mr. Marino’s Practical Law in Society class included Jhonatan Garcia, Zaire Lee-Dixon, Desirae Hazel, Christopher Cristobal, Jessie Cheramy, Marleene Rodriguez, Gisella Espana, Nataly Rosas and Jonelsy Gonzalez.  After a guided tour of the Passaic County Administrative Building, students were able to argue their case against Passaic Valley High School. “It was interesting to see first-hand how a courtroom works and the many roles are involved to make things happen,” explained Junior Marlene Rodriguez.

ACT at NJITBuilding a better school - The School of Architecture and Construction Trades’ (ACT) at the John F. Kennedy Educational Complex engineering classes recently visited the New Jersey Institute of Technology’s (NJIT) School of Architecture and Design. This visit stemmed from discussions held with NJIT about forming a partnership with ACT and its recently initiated engineering program.  ACT is presently working to establish itself as the leading school of engineering in the district with a focus on civil engineering and related fields such as transportation engineering, highway engineering and environmental engineering. Students have an option to take credits for these courses which are recognized by participating schools of higher learning such as NJIT. 

JFK DECA membersBusiness trip - Two seniors from the School of Business Technology Marketing and Finance at the John F. Kennedy Educational Complex seniors had the field trip of their life when they traveled to Orlando, Florida for this year’s Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA) International Career Development Conference. Seniors Danielle Brown and Takia Wilson, were accompanied by DECA Club Advisor and Marketing Teacher, Mr. Hernandez and Business Teacher, Ms. Bici. Brown and Wilson were among the select group of 14,000 students who qualified to represent their state and/or country at this year’s conference.

“The girls put in extra work to improve their presentation in an effort to increase their probability of winning, however, at the International level you are competing against the best of best.” Mr. Hernandez said.

Throughout the convention, all students had a chance to meet and network with other students from all over the U.S. and other countries including, Canada, Mexico, Germany, Spain, Japan and China.

A win-win situation - The John F. Kennedy Educational Complex Robotics/College Prep Team has won 2nd place overall at the North Jersey Robotics Competition that was held at Passaic County Community College! Specifically, the team placed 2nd in the Science & Technology Presentation, 1st in the Obstacle Course,3rd in the Drop Ball event, 3rdin the Conveyor Belt event. The always hard-working team also grabbed 1st place for school spirit!  They spent many long hours training and building; even coming in during the weekend to ensure their skills were up to the task.  Thanks to the support and guidance of their team advisers, Mr. Brain Grilk, Mr. Eric Polo, Mrs. Julie Vysotsky, and Mr. Gilman Choudhury, the team surpassed their own expectations. 

Music to our ears - The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation has recognized Paterson Public Schools to be among 388 school districts in 46 states chosen as among the very BEST for music education. Our district was chosen as a result of administrators, parents, students and community leaders who have made music education part of the core curriculum here. This takes on strong significance this year with research that indicates the ties between music education and overall student success.  A complete list can be found at

Ms. CrincoliFor art’s sake - Ms. Carmelina Crincoli, art instructor at Alexander Hamilton Academy (AHA) has been selected as a recipient of a Craft and Hobby Association Foundation grant through the Kids in Need Teacher Grants Program. Ms. Crincoli is one of fewer than fifty recipients selected, and was gifted with the maximum grant amount offered of three hundred fifty dollars. The grant was bestowed to fund a special gallery exhibit of student art work at AHA. Parents, families, and teachers will be invited to attend a gallery exhibition. The event will include the AHA Chorus along with hors d’oeuvres and an opportunity to peruse displays of student art assembled throughout the year. The mounted and frame-ready art will be available for sale, with proceeds going towards funding future purchase of art supplies for student use.


West African Dance Trip School 24 at Lincoln Center
100 students from School 24 saw a performance of West African Dance and Drumming by The Seventh Principle at William Paterson University. A real highlight came when some of the students were chosen to dance on stage with the performers. The School 24 Concert Band students took a tour of Lincoln Center and saw a performance of the NYC Ballet.

SAtar of HopeMinistriesSo, are you experienced? - A number of students from International High School & Garrett Morgan Academy recently graduated from the Star of Hope Ministries, Inc. (SOHM) internship program.  Star of Hope Ministries student interns are known as “Star-Terns.”  The program offered by SOHM comes at no cost to students, and is designed to help them learn the basic principles of working in a retail environment. Interns are not paid and participation is strictly on a volunteer basis. At the conclusion of an 8 week program, training certificates are awarded to each Star-Tern upon successful completion. 

Junior takes award - School of Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics at the John F. Kennedy Educational Complex Junior and Robotics Team Chief Shadidur Rahman is recent a winner of the coveted Hamilton Award. This award recognizes fewer than 70 juniors nationwide for their academic, personal, and service achievements. Shadidur has been selected to attend the Hamilton Leaders Academy along with a $500 cash scholarship, and leadership training in Seattle and Central America. An outstanding yet humble student, Shadidur remarked, "I can't believe I have been selected for this great honor. I hope to represent my city well at the academy!" 

Creating and Maintaining Healthy School Cultures

Elegant ladies – The gymnasium at the Dr. Frank Napier, Jr. School of Science & Technology was transformed into a decidedly lady-like venue where mothers and daughters sat down for a very gentile and traditional tea party. The Spring Recognition Tea Party was presented by the Napier chapter of the National Junior Honor Society as a way of honoring the school’s notable females, especially those students who have maintained a 3.0 and above grade point average.  Mrs. Marguerite Sullivan, the district’s Director of Educational Services gave a touching keynote address expressing her love of the teaching profession. Students read poetry, sang, danced and honored the adult women in their lives. Tables, set with lovely porcelain tea sets and cups sat beneath a pink and white crown of balloons and crepe streamers where the ladies bonded over tea, finger sandwiches and pastries.  A very special alumna to the school, octogenarian, Mrs. G. Langston spoke to the girls with reminiscences of her days as a teacher there. It was a very elegant affair, indeed.


Teen Health FairA wealth of health - The district’s annual Teen Health Fair returned to the Eastside Campus gymnasium with its trade-show styled, festive atmosphere. Dozens of tables presented displays on every conceivable health concern for young adults. There were friendly, knowledgeable staffers representing colleges, organizations, hospitals, agencies, non-profits and district departments all answering health and related questions for the thousands of district teens who roamed the gym throughout the day. There were loads of take-away items and literature for students to use and review later, and they gathered it up voraciously. Click here for a short video offering a glimpse of this year’s fair.

SET artwork

School of Business Technology Marketing and Finance at John F. Kennedy Educational Complex student, Azul Ramos was awarded Second Prize for her Teen Health Poster.  Her Art Appreciation teacher, Ms. Lym encouraged her to think about a poster submission that showed the before and after effects of poor health habits. 


Arab FestivalAn Arabic cultural happening - Ms. Hijjawi, Arabic teacher at the School of Architecture and Construction Trades (ACT) at the JFK Educational Complex and her students recently presented their 8th annual Arabic Heritage Festival. This event was aimed at educating students, staff, and guests all about Arab culture. The festival took place in the JFK auditorium and included authentic costumes, singing, dancing and folkloric music. Authentic Arabic food was on hand and was provided by local merchants. There were many dignitaries from the local Arab American community in attendance as well.
As a special treat, the audience got to enjoy a special performance by Firqat Alnujoom, a Palestinan “Dabke” dance group.  Dabke is an ethnic circle and line dance performed at joyous occasions. 

Sparkes FamilyA family affair - School Ten recently held a “Principal’s Luncheon” for students who attained the Principal’s List and Honor Roll status. The students thoroughly enjoyed the luncheon, especially spending time with Mrs. Vaughan. The Sparkes family attended the luncheon and was elated to have a family photo taken with the Principal.  The school is particularly proud of this wonderful family because all of the children attending (Kindergarten to 8th Grade) have made the Honor Roll!


Komen_Run_GMAPitching in - Sixteen students from International High School and Garrett Morgan Academy volunteered at the Susan G. Komen Foundation’s, North Jersey Breast Cancer Walk at The West Orange Reservation Complex. This opportunity was extended to them as a result of Physical Education/Health Teacher Sharon Allen’s position as Committee Chair for Kids Zone.  The students, with help from physical education teacher Mr. Jose Almonte, were responsible for race set up and supervision of small children. The group was an integral part of race management during this, the first annual Kids for the Cure Color Run. The freshman also obtained knowledge and specific information about breast cancer and how it affects the community and families. Students were required to write about their experiences and present the information to their classmates.


Family and Community Engagement

WPU and School 5 workshopNavigating college admissions - William Paterson University (WPU) working in partnership with the Full Service Community School 5, the Department of Family & Community Engagement and the New Jersey Help Center, hosted an informative workshop on college admissions, major fields of study, and finance for parents. Thanks to Jean Modig, a WPU professor-in -residence at School 5, the parents were invited to tour the university.  During their visit, parents learned all about the college admissions process, how to apply for financial aid, and what majors are offered at the school.  By participating in a “College Admissions Game,” parents learned about the complexity of college admissions and how there are many factors beyond grades that factor into college acceptance. For several parents, this was the first time that they had been on a university campus.  They all came away being much better equipped to prepare their children for admission to college.

RPHS Healthy LifestyleJoining forces against obesity - The Rosa L. Parks Fine and Performing Arts High School (RPHS) is taking fitness to a whole new level thanks to a special partnership with Fitness 19, a health club located in Elmwood Park. Since last November, RPHS students have been able to use the state-of-the-art facility to exercise and work out for a special discount price of just seven dollars a month.

It’s no secret that childhood obesity has become a huge problem in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), obesity has doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the last thirty years. As a result, Fitness 19 owner Michael Hobbs and Physical Education teacher Mrs. Patricia Lionetti created this initiative to help bring students and family members to the gym. Mrs. Lionetti has been encouraging all RPHS students to join the gym as a way to keep physically active and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Efficient and Responsive Operations

Interactive_video_shootAaaaaand... ACTION! - It really was lights, camera, action at School 18 as two camera crews, complete with directors, technicians, assistants and talent moved from location to location filming shots for an innovative new training resource. Funded by "Turn-Around Schools" grant from the federal education department, the program will use interactive video simulations meant to depict issues that confront administrators in struggling schools to train principals and vice principals.

Dr. Dale Mann, managing director of Interactive Inc., heads up production of the project, which will be a Web-based resource with which current and aspiring administrators can choose from several different solutions to difficult problems. All of the talent and technical staff was provided by volunteer staff from the district and School 18. The finished product, custom-tailored for the Paterson school district will be available for use this fall.

University partnership - As part of Paterson Public Schools’ participation in the Montclair State University (MSU) Network for Educational Renewal, the Department of Professional Development is pleased to announce that Robin Josey-Gaskin of School 20, and Yolanda Greene and Kaela Quince of the Professional Development Department, have all been appointed as Clinical Faculty Members at MSU. The appointment is evidence of their commitment to the educational profession.  Appointment gives these professionals on-campus privileges such as use of the Sprague Library and the ADP Center for Teacher Preparation and Learning Technologies, and access to a wide range of campus activities and events. Similar opportunities to become Clinical Faculty at MSU are available to all district staff because of this partnership.

Upcoming Events

May 22: PEA Early Dismissal

1:00 p.m. Student and PEA Staff dismissal

May 25: Memorial Day

District closed

May 29: District Spelling Bee (Grades 1 & 2)

8:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. at School 24

June 2: Board of Education Retreat

6:30 p.m., at the Administrative Offices, 90 Delaware Avenue 

June 3: Annual District Science Fair

9:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. at John F. Kennedy Educational Complex  

June 3: Board of Education Workshop

6:30 p.m. at Administrative Offices, 90 Delaware Avenue

June 3: Rosa L. Parks Spring Concert

7:00 p.m. at Rosa L. Parks School of Fine & Performing Arts  

June 5: Quiz Bowl 2015

9:30 a.m.- 2:30 p.m. at International High School


“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
American philosopher, writer